HAMMOND, Ind. – A walk-off double by Heather O’Kelly (Worth, Ill./Shepard) in Game 1 and a stellar pitching performance by Courtney Blackwell (Whiting, Ind./Whiting) in Game 2 highlighted a pair of wins for the Purdue University Northwest softball team Saturday afternoon over Wayne State.
Game 1: PNW 8, Wayne State 7
Senior Tessa Steffens (Litchfield, Ill./Litchfield) started things off in the bottom of the second inning, hitting a solo homer for the first run of the game.
Amanda Noblett (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) followed with an RBI-double and gave the Pride a 2-0 advantage.
Wayne State would take the lead in the top of the third with a three-run inning, and add to late lead with a four-run fifth to go up 7-2.
PNW continued to battle in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a pair of 2-RBI singles from Steffens and Mia Stevens (Wheatfield, Ind./Kankakee Valley) which put the Pride within a run, 7-6.
Taylor Mendenhall (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) tied the game with a clutch rbi-single in the bottom of the sixth to make it 7-7.
After a double from Taylor Kotzo (Munster, Ind./Munster) led off the seventh, O’Kelly managed to hit the game-winning double over the center fielders head to give the Pride an 8-7 win.
Blackwell earned her seventh win of the season after coming in relief and throwing 1.1 scoreless innings.
Game 2: PNW 7, Wayne State 0
The Pride picked up right where they left off in Game 1, with Steffens hitting her second home run of the day in the bottom of the second inning.
Freshman Madi Schultz (Lafayette, Ind./Faith Christian) sent another homerun over the center field wall in the bottom of the fourth to give the Pride a 2-0 lead.
Kalyn Learnard (Fairmount, Ill./Catlin) crushed a ball off the left field fence to drive in Zoee Anderson (Lafayette, Ind./Lafayette Jefferson) and give the Black and Gold a 3-0 advantage.
PNW’s bats came alive in the sixth thanks to a trio of RBI-singles from Noblett, O’Kelly and Anderson extending the Prides lead to 7-0, which would be the final.
Blackwell earned her second win of the day and eighth overall pitching a complete game, 2-hit shutout.
PNW returns to action tomorrow with a doubleheader with Saginaw Valley State at 12 p.m. (CST) at Dowling Park.